Error SQL: select * from access_stats_201604 where id='179' and section='reviews'

Error SQL: insert into access_stats_201604 (id,hits,title,section,date_entered) values('179','1','Dungeon Keeper 2','reviews','1999-06-27 19:51:53')

Game Over Online ~ Dungeon Keeper 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Dungeon Keeper 2 (c) Bullfrog, Reviewed by - Wolf

Game & Publisher Dungeon Keeper 2 (c) Bullfrog
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 88%
Date Published Sunday, June 27th, 1999 at 07:51 PM


Divider Left By: Wolf Divider Right

Bullfrog, known for such titles as Theme Park, Populous and Syndicate Wars, have finally completed the sequel to one of the best games they've ever released, in my opinion. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this title, wondering if it would still be as innovative and imaginative as the previous Bullfrog titles now that Peter Molyneux, founder and creative genius behind Bullfrog Entertainment, has left. The intro, starring the ever gloriously evil Horned Reaper, instantly sets the mood as you eagerly wade your way through the menu towards the first campaign..

Before I go on, I would just like to explain the game in as few words as possible, to the few people who have not played the original (All three of you). You start out in your underground domain with your "Dungeon Heart" (it dies, you die) and some Imps, your basic workers. You are surrounded by dirt, soil, whatever you want to call it. You click on some dirt squares and your imps will scurry over and dig it out, this way, you can create corridors and rooms. These large excavated areas can be filled with "Tiles" of rooms. Say, "Lair" Tiles (where creatures sleep), you can then click and drag the area which you want to turn into a Lair. Afterwards, you can excavate more dirt and expand your rooms if you need to. Creatures join your effort through a portal that you claim and once you have a big enough army, you can run out and beat up all those adventurers looking to claim your dungeon's gold. That’s the basic premise of the game.

A map of the Fairy Kingdom lets you choose which part of the land to invade next (although your choices are usually limited to just one). Disappointingly, although I am just nitpicking here, the map doesn't look nearly as good as in the original, where the happy, fairy, grassy plains would turn into smouldering ashes as you conquered them. Bullfrog's eagerness to go for full 3D graphics has resulted in a rather crappy looking map and overall menu. Throwing that small little niggle aside and starting the campaign, you will keenly notice everything looks completely different.

Bullfrog has spent some good time working on their new graphics engine for DK2 which is now, *gasp*, fully 3D. Every single creature and building type has had to be completely remade for this 3D engine and they look all the better for it. Although the Bile Demon looks like he's lost some pounds, all the other creatures' looks do the new graphics engine justice. It also means that the creatures, fully polygonal, now have more fluid movements so they can hack up heroes in fluid 3d movements. The thing that Bullfrog hasn't done, oddly enough, is change the camera controls. I was rather hoping I would be able to move the camera in any position I wanted, but sadly you are not able to do this and have to stick to the usual zoom and rotating controls.

On to the campaign, the lifeblood of Dungeon Keeper 2. Upon starting the first mission you are slowly led into the game with the great overlord master talking you through things, explaining the functions of all the different buildings, etc. At the end of each mission, you get a brief rundown of the structures you have gained which you will be able to use in the next mission, and a short comical cut-scene, usually involving chickens, to celebrate the greatness of your victory. To try and counter the complaints from the original Dungeon Keeper, about the boredom that sets in after you've had to build your dungeon from scratch for the hundredth time, most of the campaign missions are relatively varied. In some of them you have to slowly take control of dungeon rooms, and in others, you are given a time limit before some big hero is going to come walking into your lair. They are not as varied as they could be, but they kept the surprises for the bonus missions. One of these bonus missions has you "golfing" a three hole golf course using your slapping ability and a big boulder, quite a tricky one if your not very good at controlling your camera. Another bonus missions is a "duck shoot" where heroes walk along and you, as a sorcerer, have to try and shoot as many down as you can. The campaign is actually based around you trying to find these "portal diamonds" which can then enable you to create the "Reaper Amulet" so you can call upon him whenever you need too (I'm not 100% sure, the game is loath to divulge anything about your crusade). Up until you get the amulet though, you are restricted to only being able to call upon him rather infrequently. There does not seem to be a pattern with it, just sometimes you can call upon him, and most times you cannot. If you *can* call upon him, you have to carefully put him in the middle of a battle because you have no control over him, and as I recall, they get annoyed rather quickly and you don't want any rampaging horned reapers busting around your dungeon. The main objective in every level is to kill the guy who holds one of the many portal gems. Sometimes you will have to do this by exterminating other dungeon keepers who stand in your way and different factions of heroes. Once you kill the diamond holder, the Horned Reaper pops up to grab the diamond and the level is completed. You are helped on your way by special magic crates you can find around the underground lair, containing bonuses like Experience Points and Full Mana batteries.

There is also a new option in the game called "My Pet Dungeon". Sounding much like one of those Tamagotchi games, I prayed that it would be so. Who would *not* like to have their own pet Tamagotchi Horned Reaper? You could set it loose on all those other tamagotchi little creatures and he'd tear their limbs off and eat them. It wasn't so of course, pity. Instead, you are presented with the task of building a dungeon again, but this time with an annoying timer, which, when it runs out, makes another room available to you. Usually these rooms are separated by a few minutes. I don't see why in the heck they chose to do this because all it does is make you bored as you wait for the next room to be unlocked. In one of the corners of the map will be a room full of heroes. You can pick up any of those heroes and drop them anywhere on the map to watch them die in your cleverly deployed traps, or watch them slaughter your imps as you realize your trap setting skills are worthless. You can also select a full wave of heroes to enter the Underground, or, after you have assembled enough points to have completed the current Pet Dungeon level, 'Continues Waves' will test the endurance of your monsters, or the lack of it. Upon completing a Pet Dungeon level, the next level is made available, this time made more tricky by map design. Apart from being able to select heroes and unleash merry hell upon them, there is not much point to this Pet Dungeon thing, especially with that annoying timer holding those buildings back.

Also in the menu is a Skirmish option. What this options does is place you against computer opponent(s). It's useful if you've finished the campaign and you don't have access to the Internet. The AI is rather good, or should I say seems to know exactly where those vital unclaimed portals are, and manages to get there rather quickly. Skirmish is only an option though, say if you don't have an Internet connection, because really it's much more fun playing against a friend then against a computer opponent.

One of the other complaints that Bullfrog received with DK 1, is that it resulted too much into a melee combat of all-or-nothing, there was no strategy involved. Personally, being a RTS fan, I actually had no problem with a huge melee battle, lots of big monsters beating the hell out of each other is entertaining enough for me. Bullfrog decided to address this problem though and, as a result, certain creatures have different fighting characteristics. For example, the Bile Demon won't get up for awhile after getting knocked down because he's a fat lump of flesh. Bullfrog has also made the creatures AI more apparent by giving them clear positions; blockers, flankers and supporters are the main categories. However, as much as Bullfrog may have tried to create a more tactical approach to battles, it has failed. Perhaps its just me, but whenever I tried to set up a tactical formation, my idiotic supporters immediately felt bored under the imminent doom coming towards them and wandered off to eat some chickens.

The multiplayer options features an "Internet Dungeon Watch" which is a big server where you can create and join games. This is a really useful feature that I think ALL games should have, so you can easily connect to games within a few minutes. Tcp/Ip and Ipx are also supported properly. The main problem with multiplayer in Dungeon Keeper 2 is not so much that the game developers haven't done enough work on the multiplayer aspect, its just that this game does not work well in multiplayer. The whole game has been created with single player in mind. Once it was done, there was nothing they could change to make it friendlier for multiplayer games. What results is that when two dungeons meet, they drop all their creatures and they flog it out on each other, until one army is dead, and the other is usually vastly superior. The defeated army's keeper usually has no real way of fighting back after that and will decline rapidly until he just dies.

Overall, Dungeon Keeper's best new feature is the new graphic engine. All the rooms look much better and the creatures look great and move in fluid motions. There is only one new room, the Casino, which you can set to 'Generous' (its free and makes your creatures happy) or 'Payment' (creatures pay you money for using them). The Casino attracts a new unit called the "Rogue". Guard rooms attract "Dark Elves" and temples attract "Dark Angels" (complete with odd 1st person V-shaped vision mode). That’s it for the new items. Now that the original creator, Peter Molyneux, is gone, the imagination waterfall seems to be running dry which is a pity. There is no real fundamental changes in Dungeon Keeper 2. Not as good a sequel as it could have been. If they would have just covered those flaws from the original, this could have been a huge game. Still, if you liked the original, you will love this one. If you disliked the original, there is no reason to try out it's successor because it changes nothing fundamental about the game. Perhaps Bullfrog will get it all right when they put together Dungeon Keeper 3 but in the meantime, Dungeon Keeper 2 is a solid addition to this growing series.

 

See the Game Over Online Rating System


Rating
88%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Screen Shots
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot
Screen Shot

Back to Game Over Online